Picture drawn by Maggie Stiefvater, 2009. Header made by S.F. Robertson, 2010.

Friday, October 24, 2014

Giveaway- Forbidden by Kimberley Griffiths Little

On November 4th, HarperCollins unveils Forbidden, a seductive YA debut from award-winning middle grade author Kimberley Griffiths Little. Forbidden transports readers back in time to the deadly deserts and sweltering heat of Ancient Mesopotamia for a tale of danger, duty, and forbidden love. Jayden is on the brink of womanhood and betrothed to her tribe’s prince, cold-hearted Horeb. But when tragedy strikes, Jayden meets Kadesh, a mysterious visitor from the south who makes Jayden doubt everything she knows. Torn between loyalty to her tribe and the chance to escape her fate, Jayden must make a choice that will change her life forever.

Read on below for Kimberley's contest, but I also have a giveaway of my own that you can enter by leaving a comment on this post! I'm going to see Kimberley next Wednesday at a signing and have an extra copy of Forbidden for a lucky winner that I can get personally signed! All you have to do is leave a comment below with your thoughts about Forbidden and/or the book trailer by Tuesday, October 28 at 9pm EST. US residents only, and leave your email address so that I can contact you if you win!

Kimberley is also offering a HUGE preorder giveaway from October 6th to November 4th (release day!) to celebrate. See below for full details on how to enter.

  • You must preorder Forbidden through an online retailer or your local bookstore, then email a photo of your receipt to forbiddengiveaway@gmail.com.
  • Fill out the rafflecopter below
  • US/Canada Only
  • Ends at midnight EST on November 3, 2014
  • Optional entries: share the trailer on your own site or social media, follow Kimberley on twitter, and tweet about the giveaway (can be repeated daily for extra entries!)
  • Winners will be announced and contacted November 4th (release day!)
  • If the winner does not respond with their mailing address within one week, a new winner will be chosen.



1. NEWLY RELEASED Kindle Fire HD6 Tablet with 6" HD Display, Wi-Fi, Front and Rear Cameras, 8 GB -- choose your color! (Black, Magenta, White, Citron, or Cobalt)
3. CHAOS OF STARS by Kiersten White
4. Satin Belly Dance Skirt
5. Belly Dance 150-Coin Hip Scarf
6. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
7. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
8. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
9. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
10. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
11. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)


2. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
3. Red Silk Veil (not pictured)
4. Belly dance DVD: Sensual Belly Dance with Blanca, a professional dancer (technique, choreography, and performances)
5. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
6. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
7. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)


1. Red Middle Eastern Earrings
2. "Will YOU risk it all?" button (not pictured)
3. Set of 10 Book Club Cards
4. Jeweled bookmark (not pictured)

Good luck!

a Rafflecopter giveaway

About Forbidden: In the unforgiving Mesopotamian desert where Jayden’s tribe lives, betrothal celebrations abound, and tonight it is Jayden’s turn to be honored. But while this union with Horeb, the son of her tribe’s leader, will bring a life of riches and restore her family’s position within the tribe, it will come at the price of Jayden’s heart.

Then a shadowy boy from the Southern Lands appears. Handsome and mysterious, Kadesh fills Jayden’s heart with a passion she never knew possible. But with Horeb’s increasingly violent threats haunting Jayden’s every move, she knows she must find a way to escape—or die trying.

With a forbidden romance blossoming in her heart and her family’s survival on the line, Jayden must embark on a deadly journey to save the ones she loves—and find a true love for herself.

Set against the brilliant backdrop of the sprawling desert, the story of Jayden and Kadesh will leave readers absolutely breathless as they defy the odds and risk it all to be together.

Follow Kimberley:

About Kimberley: Award-winning author Kimberley Griffiths Little was born in San Francisco, but now lives in New Mexico on the banks of the Rio Grande with her husband and their three sons. Her middle-grade novels, When the Butterflies Came, The Last Snake Runner, The Healing Spell, and Circle of Secrets, have been praised as “fast-paced and dramatic,” with “beautifully realized settings.” Kimberley adores anything old and musty with a secret story to tell. She’s stayed in the haunted tower room at Borthwick Castle in Scotland; sailed the Seine in Paris; ridden a camel in Petra, Jordan; shopped the Grand Bazaar in Istanbul; and spent the night in an old Communist hotel in Bulgaria. You can visit her online at www.kimberleygriffithslittle.com.

Share your thoughts on the trailer in the comments!

Wednesday, October 22, 2014

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins

Isla and the Happily Ever After by Stephanie Perkins
"Hopeless romantic Isla has had a crush on introspective cartoonist Josh since their first year at the School of America in Paris. And after a chance encounter in Manhattan over the summer, romance might be closer than Isla imagined. But as they begin their senior year back in France, Isla and Josh are forced to confront the challenges every young couple must face, including family drama, uncertainty about their college futures, and the very real possibility of being apart."- summary from Amazon

I cannot tell you guys how much I was looking forward to reading Isla, pretty much ever since it was first announced. And actually, my amount of excitement for this book is probably equal to that of pretty much everyone else in the YA community anticipating this book. But whatever. So I was so excited when it was finally released, and when Magan of Reading Gals was kind enough to buy me a copy of it, I was even more excited (and extremely grateful- thanks again!!).

Perkins did not disappoint. I absolutely loved the concept of this book, focusing more on working on and staying in a relationship than about the steps to getting INTO that relationship. It's definitely something different from most YA out there. I really enjoyed reading about Isla and Josh's relationship- their ups and downs, obstacles to getting together (the first fourth of the book they are not together), their adventures, and so much more. I will also admit that the last 50 pages had me squealing in joy as we get visits from Anna and St. Clair, and Lola and Cricket (as well as some other friends whose names I can't remember, lol); it makes for the perfect ending to this companion trilogy.

Overall, if you haven't checked out Perkins yet and you're into romantic novels, she is definitely the author for you. She writes such realistic, compelling, and poignant relationships and really understands teens at their core.

FTC: Received hardcover copy as gift from Magan of Reading Gals (thanks!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, October 20, 2014

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch

Snow Like Ashes by Sara Raasch
"Sixteen years ago the Kingdom of Winter was conquered and its citizens enslaved, leaving them without magic or a monarch. The Winterians’ only hope for freedom is the eight survivors who managed to escape, and who have been searching for the opportunity to steal back Winter’s magic and rebuild their kingdom ever since.

Orphaned as an infant during Winter’s defeat, Meira has lived her whole life as a refugee. Training to be a warrior—and desperately in love with her best friend, Winter’s future king—she would do anything to help Winter rise to power again. So when scouts discover the location of half of the ancient locket that can restore their magic, Meira decides to go after it herself—only to find herself thrust into a world of evil magic and dangerous politics, and to realize that her destiny is not, never has been, her own."- summary from Amazon

If you enjoy fantasy, go get this book right now and don't bother with the rest of the review. It is that good! I absolutely loved Raasch's debut, from her world-building to her amazing characters to her compelling writing. I flew through this book when I read it the other month and always had such trouble putting it down. I did see a certain reveal coming early on, but that didn't necessarily dampen my reading experience.

Meira is a fantastic heroine- strong and flawed, and her rapport with Mather (as well as the other guy in the love triangle, Theron) is a joy to read. And yes, there is a love triangle but this is a triangle done right- both of the guys are extremely likable and awesome, and there's definitely a tough choice to be made here. There isn't a clear one good, one bad sort of thing, or another guy thrown in for the hell of it but you know it's not going to last thing. These two gentlemen are clear winners.

But the book is not all about romance (a lot of it is secondary). There's the complex relationship between Sir and Meira, which does get explained toward the end of the book (and is very emotional). There's also a lot of action and fight scenes going on in this novel as well- it is a fantasy book, after all- which Raasch handles very well and creates some edge-of-your-seat compelling scenes.

Overall, a terrific high fantasy debut that I'd recommend for fans of Tamora Pierce and Sarah J. Maas. I am eagerly looking forward to reading the rest of this trilogy.

FTC: Received ARC from publisher. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Friday, October 17, 2014

On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor

On the Road to Find Out by Rachel Toor
"On New Year’s Day, Alice Davis goes for a run. Her first ever. It’s painful and embarrassing, but so was getting denied by the only college she cares about. Alice knows she has to stop sitting around and complaining to her best friend, Jenni, and her pet rat, Walter, about what a loser she is. But what she doesn’t know is that by taking those first steps out the door, she is setting off down a road filled with new challenges—including vicious side stitches, chafing in unmentionable places, and race-paced first love—and strengthening herself to endure when the going suddenly gets tougher than she ever imagined."- summary from Amazon

This book was really good. Toor does a wonderful job with Alice's emotional journey throughout the story, as she deals with multiple changes in her life. I also think that Toor wrote the developing relationship between Alice and Miles very well and I enjoyed reading scenes between them. There's a lot of different changes going on in the book for Alice between family, her friends, her pet rat Walter, the looming future of college, a new hobby and job, and of course, Miles. Toor handles them all very well; I do think that the book may not be for everyone as Alice is very self-absorbed and a bit callous at times but at the end of the book, she is consciously working on changing that. But for readers who may not enjoy spending a lot of time with that kind of character, you may want to steer clear of this book.

Overall, a very interesting book and I'm eager to read more from Toor!

FTC: Borrowed book from library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, October 13, 2014

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore

Just Like the Movies by Kelly Fiore
"Pretty, popular Marijke Monti and over-achieving nerd-girl Lily Spencer have little in common—except that neither feels successful when it comes to love. Marijke can’t get her boyfriend to say “I love you” and Lily can’t get a boyfriend at all. When the girls end up at a late night showing of Titanic, sniffling along with the sinking ship, they realize that their love lives could—and should—be better. Which sparks an idea: Why can’t life be like a movie? Why can’t they create perfect romantic situations? Now they have a budding friendship and a plan—to act out grand gestures and get the guys of their dreams. It seems like fun at first, but reality turns out to be much more complicated, and they didn’t take into account that finding true love usually requires finding yourself first."- summary from Amazon

I loved Fiore's debut and this follow-up is just as awesome, romantic, and hilarious. I particularly enjoyed the dual perspective between Marijke and Lily, firmly planting the reader right into each of their lives and witnessing the emotional journey each goes on throughout the course of their pact and the novel. Readers will definitely be able to relate to one or both of the girls. The concept too of the book is really interesting as well, and I liked reading the different ways they went about putting that plan into effect.

Overall, another great book from Fiore and I'm excited to see what she writes next!

FTC: Received e-galley from Netgalley. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, October 8, 2014

Bleed Like Me by C. Desir

Bleed Like Me by C. Desir
"Seventeen-year-old Amelia Gannon (just “Gannon” to her friends) is invisible to almost everyone in her life. To her parents, to her teachers—even her best friend, who is more interested in bumming cigarettes than bonding. Some days the only way Gannon knows she is real is by carving bloody lines into the flesh of her stomach.

Then she meets Michael Brooks, and for the first time, she feels like she is being seen to the core of her being. Obnoxious, controlling, damaged, and addictive, he inserts himself into her life until all her scars are exposed. Each moment together is a passionate, painful relief.

But as the relationship deepens, Gannon starts to feel as if she’s standing at the foot of a dam about to burst. She’s given up everything and everyone in her life for him, but somehow nothing is enough for Brooks—until he poses the ultimate test."- summary from Amazon

I really enjoyed this book from Desir; she did a fantastic job portraying Gannon and Michael's toxic relationship and all of their flaws so well. And being in Gannon's mind, you can kind of see how she would fall for a guy like Michael, but you can also see all of the warning signs from him too. It was different reading a love interest that way, and made for an intriguing story. There's a lot going on in this book, but Desir handles it all extremely well and provides enough backdrop for why Gannon is the way she is.

Overall, an amazing new book from an up-and-coming author. Check it out!

FTC: Received e-galley from Edelweiss. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Monday, October 6, 2014

A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen

A Blind Spot for Boys by Justina Chen
"Shana has always had a blind spot for boys. Can she trust the one who's right in front of her?

Sixteen-year-old Shana Wilde is officially on a Boy Moratorium. After a devastating breakup, she decides it's time to end the plague of Mr. Wrong, Wrong, and More Wrong.

Enter Quattro, the undeniably cute lacrosse player who slams into Shana one morning in Seattle. Sparks don't just fly; they ignite. And so does Shana's interest. Right as she's about to rethink her ban on boys, she receives crushing news: Her dad is going blind. Quattro is quickly forgotten, and Shana and her parents vow to make the most of the time her father has left to see. So they travel to Machu Picchu, and as they begin their trek, they run into none other than Quattro himself. But even as the trip unites them, Quattro pulls away mysteriously..."- summary from Amazon

Chen's latest novel is, of course, simply amazing. I am a huge fan of hers so I can be biased, but her books are really fantastic and I always enjoy reading a new one. The emotional and sexual tension between Shana and Quattro was written so well, and really dives into creating a real foundation for their relationship rather than just a physical attraction (though there is that too, of course).

I've also always liked Chen's focus on family dynamics too in each of her novels, which is not always seen in YA novels of late. In this, Shana's dad is told he is going blind and, as the reader, we get to see how this news affects everyone in the family personally and in their interactions with each other. And through this, Chen creates some incredible, relatable characters both in the family as well as the other travelers on the tour (I especially liked Grace), and Shana's best friend back home too.

Chen does a wonderful job too of letting the reader experience Machu Picchu through Shana's eyes as she goes through this transformative journey. There's a real sense of place with the hike and everything that happens with it.

Overall, another hit for Chen and I really urge you all to check her out. She's not an author that you hear a lot about, which really sucks because she is extremely talented and amazing. Buy all her books now! I command it!

FTC: Received signed ARC from author (thanks Justina!). Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.

Wednesday, October 1, 2014

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo

Ruin and Rising by Leigh Bardugo
"The capital has fallen. The Darkling rules Ravka from his shadow throne.

Now the nation's fate rests with a broken Sun Summoner, a disgraced tracker, and the shattered remnants of a once-great magical army.

Deep in an ancient network of tunnels and caverns, a weakened Alina must submit to the dubious protection of the Apparat and the zealots who worship her as a Saint. Yet her plans lie elsewhere, with the hunt for the elusive firebird and the hope that an outlaw prince still survives.

Alina will have to forge new alliances and put aside old rivalries as she and Mal race to find the last of Morozova's amplifiers. But as she begins to unravel the Darkling's secrets, she reveals a past that will forever alter her understanding of the bond they share and the power she wields. The firebird is the one thing that stands between Ravka and destruction—and claiming it could cost Alina the very future she’s fighting for."- summary from Amazon

This trilogy is one of my absolute favorites and Bardugo ended it so well, and in a way I never would've expected, but I feel like it makes the most sense. I had such trouble putting this book down; Alina's journey in this final book is extremely compelling and fairly crazy as she tries to finally put the Darkling to rest for good.

Of course, the romance between her and Mal is a great aspect of the trilogy and there's some good heart-to-hearts between them amid all the adventures going on. And I love how Bardugo left them at the end of this story.

Overall, I cannot recommend this book and trilogy enough. If you love high fantasy, this is the trilogy for you.

FTC: Borrowed book from library. Link above is an Amazon Associate link; any profit goes toward funding contests.